Dear Valued Guests,
Following the emergence of COVID-19, our world changed at lightning speed with an impact felt by almost every industry and everyone living and working around the globe. At Powder Mountain Lodge, Fernie, we have continued to respond quickly and thoughtfully to meet our health and safety commitment to guests, team members, and communities.
We closed our hotel temporarily on Mar 20, 2020, to better understand the COVID-19, to stop the spread of the virus, to develop protocols to deal with it, and most importantly to protect our employees, guests and our Fernie communities.
As health restrictions begin to lift across Canada cautiously, we know many of you are starting to plan future trips and may have questions about your health and safety while staying with us. Please know we are counting the days until your arrival, and with the utmost confidence, we can promise the health and safety of our guests and team members is our highest priority.
Following BC Govt. announcement of re-opening of businesses in BC, we have decided to re-open our hotel again after months of closures, with extra care and cleanliness commitment. We are doing everything we can to ensure your travel safety and provide maximum flexibility as the situation around novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve.
The purpose of this plan is to detail how to protect against transmission of the virus (including implementing hand sanitizer stations and frequent cleaning of high-touch areas), and procedures in case there is a suspected or confirmed case among our guests or colleagues.
We believe in responsible and safe travel while staying vigilant and following procedures and protocols developed in consideration of guidance and information shared by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BC Ministry of Health and WorkSafeBC.
Our commitment to your health and safety
To make sure you book and stay with absolute confidence, we have launched extra care and cleanliness program, which is focused on elevating our existing high standards of hygiene and cleanliness procedures for the health and wellbeing of our guests and team members.
Starting with our public spaces and high-traffic areas, we have installed plexiglass shields at our front desk, placed social distancing posters in public space, and introduced a sanitized check-in and touchless phone over check-out. We have increased the frequency of sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces and all high-traffic areas using recommended cleaning agents supplied by our partners at Ecolab, and have removed soft materials from guest rooms.
Enhanced training to our staff
We continue to provide a healthy and safe work environment for all of our hotel front line workers through enhanced training of our health and safety procedures & protocols and by providing them with personal protective equipment (gloves, masks etc.) so they can continue to feel safe while taking care of guests.
Extending change and cancellation fees policy
Guided by our purpose of care and in listening to our guests, we are extending our cancellation policy to provide further flexibility to help you make travel decisions again.
• With some very limited exceptions, existing reservations booked before July 1, 2020, for arrivals through July 31, 2021, can be cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.
• For reservations booked after July 1, 2020, standard cancellation policy applies. However, we are flexible with cancellation related with COVID-19 sickness or travel restrictions. Please call 250 423 4492 for reservation or cancellations.
What is COVID-19?
Novel Coronaviruses are viruses that circulate among animals but some of them are also known to affect humans. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) originated in China at the end of 2019 and is a new strain that has not been previously seen in humans. It has caused worldwide pandemic. It transmits via respiratory droplets when a healthy person comes in contact with a person carrying COVID-19. It has 2-14 days of incubation period. The best way to protect yourself is to not hug or hand shake, wash hand frequently, use mask and maintain a distance of at least 6 to 8 ft when talking with a person.
Who needs to self-isolate?
• As of March 25, 2020, all persons arriving in Canada from abroad must quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days under the Quarantine Act.
• As of April 14, 2020, all international travelers returning to BC are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days and complete a self-isolation plan.
Supporting Guests in Self-Isolation
• We will advise guests in self-isolation not to use any common hotel areas, equipment or appliances, including ice and vending machines. Our communal guest kitchen and space is closed till further notice.
• We will support self-isolated guests to have food delivered to them, outside the rooms, if required.
• We will support self-isolated guests to procure prescriptions and medications, if required.
• We will keep track of number and status of guests and staff that are isolated and the reason for isolation (travel history, contact with ill individual, showing symptoms.
• Our hotel management is always up-to-date on any travel advisories or isolation recommendations so that current advice can be given to staff and guests.
Testing for COVID-19 is recommended for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19 like symptoms, even mild ones. The BC-COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool can be used to determine if further assessment is needed: https://bc.thrive.health/
• We take health and safety of our staff very seriously. We encourage our staff to report any sickness or illness and if they notice any symptoms of COVID-19 either to themselves or other employees or guests. We have flexible work schedule.
• We practice social distancing to reduce the risk of getting sick. We avoid close contact (within 2 meters), when possible, with other staff or guests.
• We ensure our employee illness policy is up-to-date and communicated to staff.
• We encourage staff to avoid touching personal items of guests such as luggage, and to wash hands or use alcohol-based hand rub often and when they could be contaminated.
Housekeeping & Laundry
• Our housekeeping staffs are trained to practice diligent hand hygiene at all times during their shift.
• As per BC Ministry of Health, daily housekeeping is not recommended during a guest’s stay. However, we will ensure that an adequate supply of clean towels, toilet paper, plain hand soap and shampoo is available prior to guests entering their room or left outside if the guest is staying long term as required or requested.
• We provide plastic bag for the guest to place their dirty linens in, and a plastic bag for their other waste. Guests are advised to tie laundry and waste bags shut and leave them outside their door for collection.
• We properly wash/sanitize any reusable glassware or dishes in rooms between guests or provide disposable dishes and utensils in rooms.
• Once guests have left, guest rooms are left to air-out for few hours, and fully cleaned and disinfected. Cleaners practice diligent hand hygiene before and after leaving the guest room using gloves and masks as required.
• Housekeepers are trained to complete thorough environmental cleaning on hard surfaces with an approved disinfectant.
• We launder all cloth items (e.g. sheets and towels). Garbage containers are emptied and all items left in the room by guests are discarded.
• We steam clean carpet and disinfect areas which are likely to be contaminated but cannot be laundered (plush chairs).
• Our housekeeping staffs wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry and discard after each use. They are trained to clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
• We do not shake laundry to minimize possibility of dispersing virus through the air, if possible.
• We launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
• Based on the public health measures put in place by the Chief Medical Officer to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect British Columbians, BC Ministry of Health, is advising that all public swimming pools are to be closed at this time. This includes pools, hot tubs, whirlpools, wading pools and water spray parks located in but not limited to gyms, institutions, clubs, camps, spas, hotels/motels, condominiums and recreation centers.
Communication to Guests and Staff
We communicate to our staffs through meetings and training, and to our guests via website and by posters e.g. handwashing, how to stop the spread COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19, maintain social distancing etc.
What to Expect During Your Stay
As you know, the way we travel looks a little different right now, so we wanted to ensure you had the latest list of what to keep in mind when you prepare to travel next. Please reach out to our hotel if you have any question.
• Social Distancing - Social Distancing continues to be a recommended and required practice in public settings. During your stay, please be mindful of other guests and Team Members and maintain the suggested six feet of distance.
• Avoid unnecessary social interaction- Please avoid unnecessary talk or social interaction with other guests or our staff to stop the spread. Thank you
• Masks and Other Protective Equipment- Our staffs may wear mask and gloves while interacting with you. We encourage you to do the same. As such, we recommend bringing your own gloves and masks with you.
• No personal sleeping items allowed in the rooms- To stop the spread, and protect other guests and our employees, please do not bring your personal pillows, or blankets which may be contaminated, in our hotel rooms. If you do need extra blanket or pillows, ask us and we will be happy to give you extra items.
• No more than 2 people in the rooms - In the rooms with 2 beds, no more than 2 people are allowed except if it is a family with a kid.
• Check-in & check-out over phone – Our hotels have adjusted check-in and other processes to allow for limited contact with Team Members for continued safety. We encourage check-in and check-out over phone. No need to come to reception, unless we can’t process the payment over phone.
• Hotel Services and Amenities - For your safety and following BC Ministry of Health guidelines, our hot tub, swimming pool, communal guest kitchen, and communal guest area are closed until further notice.
• Daily housekeeping - – has been modified as per the BC Ministry of Health guidelines.
• Guest Rooms -- In guest rooms, we have elevated our rigorous protocols to thoroughly clean all surfaces with Ecolab EPA approved disinfectants.
• Extra care and cleanliness commitment - As we welcome you back to our lodge in Fernie; we are committed to providing you with a safe environment that aligns with expert protocols for working to defeat COVID-19. With this plan and extra care and cleanliness commitment, our focus is always on the health and safety of our guests and employees. As a part of our commitment of your wellbeing, we will be placing disinfecting gels in each room for your use.
We look forward to welcome you, your family and friends again soon. Take care and have a wonderful day!